THE devastation caused by Reece Tansey's murder was laid bare in a victim statement read out in court on behalf of his mum, Laura Tansey, and family.

Here we print it in full:

Reece was our 15-year-old son, he made us smile, he made us laugh, he made us tear our hair out at times. A typical teenage lad, but he was ours.

Reece was fiercely protective of his mum and little brother and saw himself as the man of the house. His dad saw him as his best friend.

Reece was simply our world and his death has devastated us beyond belief.

When Reece was born, never did we imagine that15 short, wonderful years later, his life would be taken in an act of violence that is beyond comprehension.

Instead of planning his 16th birthday, preparing and guiding Reece into adulthood, we found ourselves preparing for Reece’s funeral and having to explain to his little brother why Reece would never be coming home.

Reece had his whole life ahead of him. He had so much to look forward to, so many memories to make.

On that day, not only was Reece’s life taken, but so was ours. The news that Reece had been killed simply drained the life from us and we will never be the same again.

We will never come to terms with the senselessness of it all. The pain is almost physical.

The last six months we have been living in limbo. We cannot grieve or come to terms with what has happened because we cannot see a future until we have answers as to why this has happened – until the persons responsible are brought to justice.

We want people hearing this statement to understand that Reece was taken from us and it need not have happened. People have choices and it was someone else’s choice to carry a knife and to use it. Those choices led to our son’s death.

Reece should not be another statistic in the pandemic that is knife crime. He was our son, he was loved unconditionally and loved us whole-heartedly in return.

His future has been taken and so has ours.

Nothing will ever bring Reece back to us, but we ask that his death not be in vain.

Let Reece’s death and the circumstances surrounding it, be used to educate young people about the consequences of carrying knives.

We have sat through this trial and have had to watch footage of our son running for his life and ultimately dying on the pavement.

We didn’t get a chance to say goodbye or hold his hand during his last moments of life. How is this fair? Reece did not deserve this.

We would like to thank the two men who came upon Reece that’s morning and came to his assistance, for the reassurance they gave him when he was at the end of his life. For that we are thankful.

On behalf of ourselves and our family, we request that the persons responsible for taking Reece’s life are given a sentence that reflects the devastating effect this has had on his family – a sentence severe enough that it could possibly deter others from using knives and taking the life of another young boy.